News – July 20, 2020

(Friendship) Two people were killed last (Sunday) night in a single-vehicle rollover on Interstate 41 near Townline Road in the Fond du Lac County Town of Friendship. A 22-year-old Appleton man and a 49-year-old Georgia man were pronounced dead at the scene. A man and a teenage girl from Appleton, and the unidentified driver, were all transported with injuries. The northbound lanes of I-41 were shut down for around five hours. Alcohol is believed to be a factor in the crash, which remains under investigation.

(Rio) Columbia County authorities have identified the person killed in a single vehicle crash in Lowville Township on Friday. Thirty-one-year-old Zachary Austin was killed after the pickup he was a passenger in entered a ditch on Genrich (Jen-Rich) Road at a high rate of speed. Twenty-nine-year-old Mitchell Merkes, who was driving, is facing a charge of Homicide by Intoxicated Use of a Motor Vehicle.

(Dodge County) Wisconsin health officials reported 830 positive cases of coronavirus in Sunday’s daily update, which is 10.3-percent of the 7,200 tests announced. There are 8,838 active cases in the state, up 205 from Saturday. State health officials recorded one more death Sunday, bringing that number to 844. Dodge County has five deaths on record and 564 cases, an increase of seven from Saturday.

(Juneau) The City of Juneau has become a Connect Community. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s Connect Communities program helps local leaders leverage the unique assets of their downtowns and commercial districts. It also provides access to resources and networking opportunities to support local revitalization efforts. City goals include incentivizing new housing and retail development, activate downtown’s sidewalks and improve both natural features and built environments.

(Waupun) A street redevelopment project in Waupun was recognized by Governor Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. The city took top honors in the Connect Communities Award over 5,000 Population category for reconstruction of the 300 block of East Main Street last year. Mayor Julie Nickel says they are very pleased to receive this state level award in recognition of the accomplishments property and business owners have undertaken.

(Beaver Dam) Organizers with the Nation of Patriots have finalized plans for their fundraising stop in Beaver Dam. The Patriot Tour typically sees one American flag transported through all 48 continental states via a city-to-city motorcycle relay. The May 23 launch of the 110-day, 14,500-mile tour that raises funds for veterans was reconfigured to a virtual format due to coronavirus concerns. After its launch from Erie, Pennsylvania this past Friday, the tour is continuing live through the remaining 20 states to its final destination is Scottsdale, Arizona on September 12. The Patriot Tour returns to its home-city of Beaver Dam this Saturday, welcomed with a noon procession and a 1pm flag transfer at Ooga Brewing.  Organizers with the Patriot Tour will be our guests this Wednesday on WBEV’s Community Comment.

(Ripon) Vice President Mike Pence touted President Trump’s election campaign before a small gathering at Ripon College in Ripon on Friday. Pence said Americans do not have to choose between supporting law enforcement or African Americans and minorities. Pence also talked about the current challenge with the pandemic, the economy, the Wall, and tax cuts under Trump. Those attending were required to wear masks and seating was limited.

(Madison) Students and staff returning to campus at UW-Madison this fall will be getting free COVID-19 testing. University health services director Jake Baggott (bag-it) says it’s all a part of the UW’s commitment to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. UW-Madison is also instituting a campus wide face mask requirement, and will be doing increased cleaning inside of campus facilities where classes and research are still taking place.

(Beaver Dam) Moraine Park Technical College is recognizing the 44 nursing program students who have completed their degree this semester. They also earned their nursing pins which symbolizes the end of their MPTC journey, the beginning of their career and the celebration of the opportunities that lay ahead. Normally, all nursing graduates are honored during a pinning ceremony, but with restrictions due to COVID-19 the celebrations were moved online. A list of all 44 graduates will be with the news story at

(Beaver Dam) Marshfield Medical Center – Beaver Dam has announced a new vice president of medical affairs. Dr. Jamie Deering will oversee the facilities medical staff, serve as liaison between providers and leadership, and ensure patients and staff receive the best care possible. The Randolph native was a family medicine physician for the past 19 years at SSM Health Dean Medical Group – Beaver Dam Clinic. Deering’s first official day is set for mid-August.